This work considers a still uninvestigated research issue–namely, whether parents’ moral disengagement affected preschool children’s externalizing behavior. Participants were 245 children (126 girls and 119 boys) aged 3–6 years. Parents’ moral disengagement was assessed in terms of their externalization of blame and their indifference in reactions to daily situations. Teachers assessed children’s externalizing behaviors, including anger, aggression, egotism, and opposition. Children’s moral motivation, assessed through an interview on moral transgression, and temperament, as assessed by parents, were also controlled. Results showed that parental moral disengagement was associated with children’s externalizing behaviors, over and above temperament and children’s moral motivation. Results are discussed in terms of the role of morality and of parents’ beliefs and educational practices in children’s social adjustment.


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pp. 173-191
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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